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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
899 Ratings
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
498
Ratings:
899
pDev:
10.35%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
255
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 899 |  Reviews: 498
Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a beautiful golden orange with high carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Very pleasant fruity esters, Belgian spice, and breast yeast. Some dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin). Very fresh and appealing.
T: More hoppy than anticipated. Sharp pine and citrus hops balanced fairly well by Belgian spice, raisin bread, and fruity esters.
M: Light-medium body. Fairly soft and smooth with some carbonated tingle and a moderately bitter and dry hop finish.
D: Good drinkability from a solid brew. A nice one now, but I would anticipate less hop presence as this gets to 12.12.12 which would improve the balance and likely make this good beer exceptional.

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Photo of Tom-Peters
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of JRed
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange in color with thin white head that fades. Aroma of candy oranges, cotton candy, apples, grass, citrus. Tastes of citrus, bobbing for apples in booze, grass, mint, watermelon, and bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of BlissJunkie
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap for the VE tasting (beers 07.07.07-12.12.12) at Pacific Coast Brewing Co. during SF Beer Week. All reviews are from my notes. Poured into a 6oz wine glass for the tasting.

Pours a golden haze amber color into the glass, in a very classically stylized take on Belgian Strong Pale Ales. If they were trying to go for a beer that looked a lot like, say, Duvel, they nailed it right on the head here, except for perhaps the lack of carbonation. However, this being nearly 5 years old, how could it not? There's some sediment in the glass, and surprisingly, some bubbles - enough to produce a thin but elegant head. Definitely thick in appearance, and the alcohol legs show themselves pretty well here on the rims of the glass. Definitely well presentable overall.

At the nose, there's an immediate burst of golden honey flavors, combined with a classic Belgian crisp graininess and well meshed malts. Definitely getting a little bit of banana and clove, although, with the aging, the spices are far more muted than one would hope (or dread). Instead, I'm getting a yeasty backbone to this is that is slightly fruity, often resembling white grapes with a little bit of wild elements to it. A little bit of citrus predominates, yet the hops are rather muted here, and there's no peppery character to speak of. Definitely sweet and bright on the nose, but sadly lacking in the hops/spices department that I love this style of beer for.

On the flavor, however, it is a different story altogether. Big yeast spicy character, melded with champagne-like flavors such as pears and honey, and a coated sugar cane backbone. The spices definitely show a bit of astringency on the palate here, but, as a result of the sweetness, the alcohol is carefully masked in this case. It is slightly boozy towards the finish, and definitely far stronger than the others I sampled in terms of the ABV being noticeable. However, it is a nicely close tribute to the BSPA style overall.

A far more straightforward VE offering without all the spices overwhelming the yeast and character of the beer. When rating to style, it's pretty solid, although once again I could not say if it was better fresh or if it has ended up more "authentic" with aging. I wish Stone would release this more as a seasonal or something. It would give me a readily available good domestic offering of the BSPA style whenever I had the craving for one.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this down the road at Brilbeck's already, just goes to show how good Stone's distribution is. Although I still can't find any 12th Anniversary, grr.

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear rustic gold with a fluffy two finger white head that falls to a soft layer of bubbles. A fair amount of stick is left on the sides of the glass. Smell starts off some fruits such as mango, papaya, and grapefruit. Yeast and spice graze the nose as well, a very interesting combination of aromas. Taste begins with oily hops and pepper followed by a piney zest. Spice and clove dominate midway and continue on all the way into the aftertaste. A touch of banana here and there throught on the tongue as well. Medium slick body with a flowing carbonation and slight bite from the hops. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer. I would classify this as a Belgian IPA. An up and coming style that is still a bit rough around the edges but still a very interesting beer.

 986 characters

Photo of Beernoobie
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a clear gold with foamy two finger head. Head is sticky and produces a decent amount of lacing. Head diminishes to a small white cap after a minute or so.

Smell: Bubblegum, unripened bananas, Belgian yeast, some citrus (orange, lime), and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Bananas and cream, loads of bubblegum, cotton candy, and a touch of citrus. A very interesting flavor. A tiny bit of alcohol in the finish, but the ABV is masked extremely well (8.6% Holy Shit!). Reminds me of the circus - lol.

Mouthfeel: A little bit of a warming effect is felt down in the belly, but otherwise I would not guess that this is 8.6%. Really smooth and fairly light with a low carbonation. Once again, the masking is unbelievable.

Drinkability: I've read about beers tasting like bubblegum before, but I had never actually experienced that taste until now. This almost seems like a novelty beer. Even though the taste may sound incredibly sweet, it's pretty toned down and enjoyable. I would drink these all day... but I would get F*#KED UP! I still can't believe how they mask teh alcohol so well. Way to go Stone!

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Photo of MattGrimley
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bigleague
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Gerred
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of silentjay
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear, translucent copper with a smallish off-white head that quickly recedes to a small film, but laces well.

some peppery, fruity aromas hints at a belgian yeast while some citrusy and grassy hops back things up a bit. bananas and cloves, yah, but plenty more. Traces of a belgian tripel, but with some hops as well. not bad at all.

taste is similar to the aroma, but also adds some malts to the package. peppery and fruity with banana, clove, plum, raisin, and apple flavors added to the wheat toast and caramel malts which give way to some grassy, citrus, and earthy hops, which have probably faded a bit over the last two years. a bit of warming booze comes through on the back end. nice.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

drinks rather well. booze can be harsh at times, even though its been aged for two years. that may age out in the next couple of years when the vertical is complete. otherwise, this is a nice, hoppy tripel with plenty of complexity and flavor. will look forward to trying this again in a couple of years.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - An hazy orange-amber brew with a ton of carbonation and a sizable foamy head. Thick clumps of lacing cling in discordant rings all down the sides of the glass.

S - A sweet malt and aromatic floral (lilies) hops - obvious at first whiff that this is a Belgian strong pale ale.

T - Initially a burst of intense floral (lilies) hops with a bit of sweetness and a warming alcohol feel. Then it progresses to a biscuity aspect coupled with a lingering floral hop that shifts into a mild bitter floral hop flavor.

M - A little harsh, thick, and not very refreshing.

D - A little intense and strong. Fortunately, I see almost no reason to place much weight on the drinkability of this release.

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Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: 2 inch white head with an aggressive pour. Despite very lively carbonation the head starts dropping kinda fast. Very nice looking clear golden body.

Smell: Very sweet and candylike. Citrus aroma from the hops. Such a big hop aroma seems kinda out of place in a higher abv Belgian style beer but it smells damn good.

Taste: Really amazing. Cloves and spices that you would expect from a Belgian tripel plus hoppiness that you would expect from an American pale ale. Wonderful combination.

Drinkability: The hop flavors make me want to chug the whole bottle. The small "8.6% Alc/Vol" printed on the bottle warns me that I probably shouldn't.

UPDATE! 08/15/09: Hops have mellowed significantly but the bitterness remains. Kind of reminds me of Duvel with the addition of cloves and an increased bitterness. Still really good stuff but I'm not sure I want to let my other bottle age alot longer.

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Photo of Denzo
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of axeman9182
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last offering in the second flight of Vertical Epics at Alewife Queens.

2008 Vertical Epic pours a translucent tangerine, with a good amount of head retention and lacing given what little foam there was to begin with. The nose is wonderfully juicy, with bubble gum and grapefruit aromas swimming together. The flavor starts out with that same plump bubble gum note. There's a relatively soft bitterness, followed by a grapefruit and mango close. The mouthfeel is solid, dry bodied and bubbly, though it could stand to be a bit more of each. As a Belgian IPA, I'm impressed by how well it's held up.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to Alpine lager mug on 08.08.08 on camping trip to the Cape late nite...

Pours with very light lemon-honey body-lily white soapy head disspiates quickly.

Very bready with that silage hop ambiece-some coriander, a little citrus tang. Lots of yeast and deep yet crisp malt.

A little rough around the edges - 1/2 saison, 1/2 IPA feel. Nice bitter hop pucker and citrus tang with yeast, coriander and other spices. Needs a little time or warmth?

Bready, yeasty mouthfeel. Consistent from start to finish - good cleanliness, even with a blunt, heavy malt and boiled hop backbone.

Drinks very easily but am looking for more bountiful flavor profile to match weight. Not sure what time will do to this one.

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Photo of joepais
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass it produced a fingers worth of white head that trailed away to a thick lace. The body was a clear copper brown on this ale

Aromas of bananas and piney hops filled my nose, the more it sits the more the hops become forward

Big bitter hops flavors up front. I don't know but I think this brew is a great Belgian IPA. Maybe it is a stone IPA with Belgian yeast? Because this is the first hop bomb Belgian I have ever drank. A medium mouthfeel with good carbonation on this brew with a slightly dry finish

Yes this thing is drinkable and I will be grabbing a few more .I don't think I will hold on to many of these, I will drink these puppies fresh the hops is that dam good

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Photo of GameOfBeers
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cavedave
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look is straw colored, a bit cloudy, glowing, topped by a thin head of almost pure white. Picture Duvel with a bit less color/head perfection.

Ah, that fragrance which brings one back immediately to the fine Belgian strong pales one has sipped in life. I'm carried by wings of apricot, belgian style yeast, alcohol, and mild spice to past enjoyments. So simple, so complex, so seductive.

Brandied apricots lead an orderly stampede of flavor. Spice, pear, alcohol hints, herbal hints, earthy tones, yeasty tones, ending in a tart, modestly bitter, tiny-bit-sweet-and-alcohol-warm finish that satisfies immensely. Lacks some of the startling complexity found in others of this style. Makes up for it by being extremely delicious.

Mouthfeel is just short of marvelous. Carbonation is just right, but it seems a bit resinous for something that isn't jump on your tongue hoppy.

Due to its wonderful flavor, drinkability is quite good, if not dangerously so.

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Photo of ATPete
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

Pours a transparent yellow/orange color with a small white head that disappears quickly leaving some patching. Lots of visible carbonation and no yeast sediment to speak of. The nose is delightfully spicy balanced with a wonderful hoppiness. Most of the same characteristics come through while tasting. Notes of orange, chocolate, apricots, and lots of harmonious spice, the alcohol is present but definitely not dominant. The Belgian yeast plays a large role in the overall taste of the beer. The beers main character is mostly hoppy but is well balanced with some bold pale malt that really supports the flow of the beer. This one is killer, finally a Vertical Epic i will go back to! Its mouthfeel is medium/light with shy carbonation and a subtle, non offensive alcohol heat, making this one dangerously drinkable. A truly excellent beer.

***

i was lucky enough to sample this one on draught this weekend at BCTC up ant Ommegang. I took no notes on the draught offering but i remember saying, wow this is going to be awesome next week.

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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 899 ratings
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